Monday January 11, 2021

As of 2:30 p.m. Sunday, there have been 1,477,010 positive cases of the coronavirus recorded in the state. There are 22,912 Florida resident deaths reported, according to the Florida Department of Health. According to the CDC, Florida has recorded 22 positive cases of COVID-19 variants as of Friday. The type of variants is not specified on the table. Florida Department of Health and the CDC were previously investigating the evidence of the first known case of what is known as the UK COVID-19 variant on Dec. 31, 2020. There were 12,313 new cases reported Sunday, and 108 new resident deaths. Glades County reported 807, increasing by 4 since Saturdays report, with 11 deaths. Hendry County increased by 25 new cases, bringing the total in the county to 3,594 with 52 deaths. Click HERE* for a case-by-case breakdown – updated daily.

On Friday, the Glades County Sheriff’s Office reports, a man was arrested at a home in Moore Haven for selling drugs. After an investigation, 26-year-old Roytone Smikle, now stands accused of trafficking in oxycodone and methamphetamines. He is also accused of possessing oxycodone and marijuana with intent to sell 1,000 feet from a place of worship. Smikle was arrested and will be held without bond until his first appearance hearing, according to deputies.

A LaBelle woman was reported in serious condition Friday afternoon after being hit by vehicle in Lee County. At around 1:53, a 25-year-old from Lehigh was driving east on state Road 80 and Lozzi Court, while 2 other vehicles, both from LaBelle, one 22 and one 28, were traveling westbound in different lanes. For unknown reasons, the Lehigh woman drove over the median and hit the front of the other 2 vehicles. The accident left the Lehigh woman and the 22-year-old LaBelle woman with only minor injuries. The accident caused all three vehicles to rotate. No word on the LaBelle woman’s condition as of this morning.

One person died in a collision between a train and a tractor in a field in South Bay. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews were dispatched Saturday morning to the 1000 block of Southshore Village Drive, where they located the deceased person. The investigation revealed the tractor operator was operating the tractor in the same direction as the train, and made a right onto the railroad crossing as the train approached. The train’s operator sounded the horn for approximately 30 seconds, but the tractor remained stopped on the tracks for unknown reasons. The train impacted the tractor ejecting the operator resulting in her succumbing to her injuries. Investigation is ongoing. The incident occurred on private property.

For our commuters out there, an important notice that may affect your commute. On Monday, January 11, 2021 crews will begin construction on the I-75 at Colonial Boulevard Project. The off-ramps at Colonial Boulevard and the northbound off-ramp at SR 82 will have emergency stopping sites. The improvements will enhance access to I-75, and along Colonial Boulevard, as well as improve overall safety, increase capacity, and facilitate emergency evacuation within the County. The improvements should also help serve travel demands created by anticipated and existing countywide population and employment growth. Travelers though this area should expect some lanes to be closed on I-75 and the on and off ramps at Colonial Boulevard and SR 82 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) through the duration of the construction. Please be careful and be aware of construction vehicles entering and exiting the roadway through the duration of the project. The expected completion date is mid-2024. 

Governor DeSantis directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health to identify places of worship and other locations in underserved communities where the COVID-19 vaccine may be administered. Each site has the capacity to dispense 500 doses of the vaccine per day. Appointments are proactively scheduled through the faith-based organizations. Walk-ups will not be accepted. The locations include the Lynn Haven Senior Center, New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, as well as a church in Hollywood, Tallahassee, Port St. Lucie and in Jacksonville. The pilot program is expected to expand as the state continues to receive additional vaccine allocations.